Now a startup that takes burden off the shoulder of e-commerce retailers – OptoroBengaluru, India | Red Newswire | Jan 01, 2016, 04:40 PM IST
E-commerce retailers’ work is done once your orders are delivered. From this point, Optoro takes on. Optoro is a startup that aims at reducing the financial burden of the e-commerce retailers by managing merchandise returns.
According to stats, merchandise worth $260 billion was returned by Americans alone. This amount is 66% higher than the last year’s count. Most of the purchases and returns are made during the holiday season.
The e-commerce sales are rising day by day and so are the returns. What shoppers do not know is that many of these returned items never really reach back the retailers. Instead they end up with wholesalers, liquidators, resellers and even landfills! According to estimates, around 2 million worth of returned items are thrown away and these would require more 200,000 garbage trucks to fill up.
Therefore, returns are a huge loss to the retailers and also to our environment.
Tobin Moore, CEO of Optoro says, “"The way we consume right now isn't sustainable. We can't keep throwing stuff away. There's a better way." Optoro provides retailers with alternative ways for recycling, donating and reselling returned items.
Optoro didn’t disclose sales. However, it said it has processed around 10 million items and has raised $80 million from many Silicon Valley investors.
Kevon Hills, VP for research at Stella Service says, “For a long time, returns was something retailers didn't really pay attention to. But it's such a focus for companies now." Retailers have been offering various return policies and many also offer free return service.
Around 15% of the total items sold are returned. The most returns are made in the electronics category. The retailers also are not usually willing to keep old, returned stock at the expense of newer products that can give higher margins.
Optoro cuts down the waste through its software platform which is capable of tracking the returns and selecting a suitable channel for the item. For products that are undamaged and have a high resale value, Optoro directs them to its own discount site “Blinq.com”. Thus, Optoro is able to find purchasers for these open box goods. With the traditional methods, the retailers are able to recoup only 20—40%, whereas Optoro helps them to recoup 50-70% of the total cost.